The past two decades have brought welcome improvements to Budapest restaurants — slimmer menus, inventive recipes, and healthier ingredients are gradually replacing the gut-busting fare of the Communist era (still, there's a way to go). Note that many of the below places offer a weekday lunch prix fixe for a fraction of the regular prices. If you're curious about traditional Hungarian dishes, try these restaurants, too.
Könyvbár is an upscale restaurant within Budapest's Jewish Quarter. Head chef Zoltán Decreceni brings a Michelin experience to this snug, book-lined space, which has become a tourist favorite following praise from the New York Times. The food here doesn't easily fit into any mold: there are both Hungarian classics (goulash soup) and international foods (risotto with scallops) on the slim menu, which changes seasonally. What unites these beautifully plated dishes is how good they are. Take the fogas, once Hungary's prized fish, arriving on a bed of creamy cauliflower and ringed by crunchy and colorful slices of the vegetable.